Moscow hosts consultations of SCO member states for prevention of arms race in outer space

Moscow hosts consultations of SCO member states for prevention of arms race in outer space

On 4 September 2019, Moscow hosted the first thematic consultations of SCO member states for the prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS), as part of the Russian Federation's SCO Presidency in 2019-2020. The consultations involved experts from foreign ministries, diplomatic missions and the SCO Secretariat.

The participants discussed the elaboration of practical measures to prevent an arms race in outer space, including the subsequent promotion of an idea stipulating a binding multilateral legal instrument with reliable guarantees not to orbit weapons in near-Earth space. This instrument would hinge on a draft Russian-Chinese international treaty to prevent the deployment of weapons in outer space, the use of force or the threat to use force against space-based objects, as well as an international initiative on the no-first placement of weapons in outer space.

The consultations confirmed common approaches of SCO member states towards the PAROS subject. The sides noted the need for subsequent close coordination on PAROS-related matters at specialised multilateral venues, including the UN General Assembly, the Conference on Disarmament and the UN Disarmament Commission, as well as meetings of the SCO Council of National Coordinators (CNC). They voiced readiness to hold full-format intra-SCO PAROS consultations that would involve the concerned ministries and agencies of SCO member states.